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Argos sucks!

Christmas is coming thick and fast so we wanted to get the children into the Christmas spirit this weekend by putting up our decorations and making the house look festive. The children each have a small tree in their bedrooms, they have a medium sized white one in their playroom and we have a large tree in the lounge. But this year we decided that we wanted to get a slim tree to go in the dining room (because there isn’t oodles of space in there! So once all the decorations were up we made our way out to check out the trees in town, we visited a few garden centres and then we saw a couple we liked in B&Q but suddenly remembered we hadn’t tried Argos. So at 4pm on a cold and drizzly Sunday afternoon we bundled the children into Argos and saw a tree in their Christmas book which we thought would fit the bill. It said it was a slim canadian pine, emphasis on the slim – perfect?!?!

image When we got home we opened the box, took out the main stem and added two branches to the bottom before realising that the tree was far from how we would describe slim so we put the bits back in the box, taped it back up and decided we would return it today. This morning, with two very snotty children (lovely cold doing the rounds in our house at the moment!) we made our way back to Argos. Have you ever tried pushing a pushchair, carrying a Christmas tree and holding a pre-schoolers hand all at the same time? It’s no easy task let me tell you!! After negotiating crossing the road safely we made our way into Argos and waited patiently in the queue for our turn to be served.

Within a few minutes I was called to the desk where I placed the Christmas tree and said “I’d like a refund please, the tree wasn’t as slim as I’d hoped” only to be told “we don’t do refunds on Christmas trees”. Oh! This was the first I had heard of it and I honestly couldn’t understand why? We are weeks away from Christmas, the tree has been packaged back up in exactly the same condition it was sold to me in and so it is in perfectly good condition to be sold again? Now if I was returning a week after Christmas I could understand. I was perfectly happy to stand and wait whilst they checked the contents to make sure it was all there but no, not interested, no refunds on Christmas trees. I pointed out that perhaps this should have been mentioned to me when I purchased the tree, as I would not have purchased it if I had known. I spoke with the Manageress, aka “The Pitbull” who told me, its says no exchange on the bottom of your receipt, bloody useful when I’ve already paid for it! I asked again why this wasn’t pointed out to me at the time of purchase and The Pitbull replied “you are not getting a refund today, goodbye madam”. So I am now stuck with a Christmas tree which is of no use to me and now I don’t have the money to buy a tree which does fit the bill.

When I checked in the catalogue it does say in pt6 typeface at the bottom of the page that returns are not accepted but for something like this I think a larger notice should be on the page stating “no refunds on Christmas trees”. I have shopped at Argos for years but I won’t be doing again – they suck!

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  1. December 5, 2011 / 4:15 pm

    That’s shocking! What poor service. The manager could at least have listened to you and taken on board your comments. But what a silly policy to have in the first place and totally agree that it should be made clearer before you purchased it. Perhaps a customer service complaint will be more fruitful…?

  2. Hayley
    December 5, 2011 / 4:15 pm

    If a manager spoke to me like that I would go bloody nuts! I hope your gonna complain to head office about her! Weather or not they do refunds or not there is no need for a manager to be rude like that!

  3. December 5, 2011 / 4:20 pm

    don’t they by law have to tell you they cannot refund the product if it doesn’t suit your requirements? Many shoe shops and lingerie stores have to state this why not same with Argos and their weird anti-refund-tree scheme?

  4. December 5, 2011 / 4:23 pm

    That is terrible! I have had a bit of a nasty experience with Argos where the manager at a local store kindly offered me money off a new microwave even though it was out of the warranty as the one that I had nearly burned down the house due to it going wrong. Due to me being ill, I couldn’t take the microwave back and then phoned them and they said that they have no knowledge of the conversation even happening. Spent over £10 in phone calls to Argos.

    I would suggest contacting head office and raising a complaint on how you were treated. The fact that the tree isn’t as described has to be in your favour surely?

    I complained to Argos again about the phone calls and they gave me £10 voucher to cover the cost, which was OK as I got some bits for my daughter.

  5. December 5, 2011 / 5:00 pm

    There is no need for a manager to speak to people like that, we had an Argos manager speak in exactly the same way to us and refuse refund on a broken product. Appalling service from them and We will never, ever shop there again. I don’t miss them at all and it has been 3 years since my last visit to Argos :/

  6. MumtoC
    December 5, 2011 / 5:47 pm

    What! How ridiculous!?! You could understand it if it was underwear for goodness sake. Well I think I might just have to find out where a “complaint” email should be sent. I would also be minded to mention the attitude of the staff – especially the Manager. Argos is one of the main retailers and I can’t believe they’ve got such a strange policy. My mind is now boggling to work out why Christmas trees are so special 🙂

  7. Paul Warner - When I Was a Kid
    December 5, 2011 / 7:15 pm

    so… another case of a big company doing the WRONG thing. Sadly Sabina, the law is in the side of Argos in this example, if there is nothing wrong, they are not obliged to offer a refund depending on their returns policy. If there is a fault then you have the right to return the item but Argos can offer an exchange which is not what you want either.

    The sad part of this is that too many companies either choose to ignore the law (most online shops where you have the most protection as a consumer) or they choose to hide behind the law. Discretion or mitigation no longer seem to feature. I cringe at the thought of When I Was a Kid growing and become one of these soulless companies that treat the customer as a number.

    Here is how I would have dealt with it without breaking the Argos policy (incidentally, we intentionally DOn’t have a policy and just each case on it’s merits). I would have apologised for the small print, agreed the process should be changed and offered you a credit note to the full value of the tree. There would be nothing I could do about the font size or the policy but by concurring with you I would have disarmed you and the situation. By giving you a credit note, the company doesn’t lose out, in fact, most people use a credit note to buy a higher value purchase so it is an excellent tool to use. If the tree was suitable for resale then great, otherwise it I would use it for display within the showroom which is a very common these days with Argos showrooms.

    But then I’m just a small shopkeeper trying to earn an honest living and have but a fraction of the success of Argos so what do I know ;).

    Paul Warner Daddy & Owner, When I Was a Kid.

  8. Emma Collins
    December 5, 2011 / 9:23 pm

    Thats naughty! The sales assistant should point out the terms when you went to purchase the product. They should stamp on the receipt that you were told too – surely?! The manager sounded awful. We had a similar thing happen to us at The Range when we bought a large mirror, got to the car and the glass fell out. The manager refused to do anything and said that he didn’t sell it to us like that so “Goodbye” and we haven’t shopped in there since.

  9. mummymatters
    December 6, 2011 / 1:13 pm

    Wow, thank you everyone for your comments. Sadly I knew that I wouldn’t have been the only person to have been affected by bad customer service. Having worked on the frontline with customers for many years myself, customer service is my biggest bugbear and I hate it when bad customer service is given, its just not acceptable. Unfortunately the biggest culprits are the larger chains because they don’t need to worry about losing the odd one or two customers here or there, they know that people will still keep shopping there.

    The really stupid thing is, even if I could find space for the Xmas tree (which I can’t) I wouldn’t even want to put it up now because it holds bad feelings for me so it’s a total waste of money on something which should hold special memories in a family home 🙁

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